by Christos Koulouris, publisher (1976)
Last fall, we had the good luck to see in the exhibition rooms of Nea Skepsi, a part of Vika's work. She then was presenting some of her sculpture along with mixed oils and water colors. Her originality especially impressed us, her many-sided soul compositions transporting art to the contemporary by way of ancient greatness and the Greek genius.
Her works participate in the new ways of forms and have their source in the inexhaustible contact of man with the world. Commensurately, any recipient of her warm sensitivity is touched on other sides as well, this show projecting in an admirable way Vika's spiritual cultivation.
Vika was born in Thessaly. She is the daughter of Dimitrios and Anastasia Kotzamanis. She has lived many years in foreign lands, in Germany as well as America, going after the war to study in the United States. At the Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri she studied on a scholarship, receiving a B.F.A. in Sculpture and Ceramics.
She returned to her homeland many times, and two and a half years ago she settled in Athens. She is the wife of the American professor and writer Roy Culver. Vika has exhibited in the United States and in Greece; her work is found in private collections here and in foreign countries.
She loves with passion the offerings of the Ancient Greeks, the marvelous sculptures which have been saved through the ages. She also admires the contemporary Greek artists she has met in Athens.
Vika wants to express in her works the whole human being who fights and struggles continuously for beauty and goodness in life, for freedom and dignity. She believes that the artist must first of all be a human being and not a workshop for producing works of art like a factory pouring out objects. The artist must have his ear close to the pulse of life, making art part of his living with no other ultimate goal, because if any other aim gets in between, art becomes perverted
"When life within you fills you and overflows, then the overflow will become, in an artist it must become, art. The emotion, the pain, the agony, the tears, the happiness of the senses and mind, all these amalgamate and burst out to shout Life, Life, in all its unending, marvelous forms. Then art does not need any other more perfect goal but the unending overflow of life."
Vika is inspired by everyday living, the flow of natural happenings. She believes passionately in the energy that is human. This she continuously investigates, founding her spirit on a deep belief in the beauty of everyday existence. It is in this flow of reality that she discovers the basic laws by which art acquires its naturalness and its resistance to time. At the same time her continuing contact with unassuming people fills her with courage to open up to more mature cycles of creativity.
Her expression has the fruitfulness of simplicity as well as the greatness of artistic tension, and she deplores nothing more than the current tendency to change people from citizens of their basic national cultures into faceless employees of multi-national companies which she compares to colonies of insects attempting to diminish, at least here in Greece, the greatness of the Greek soul.
Thus Vika's work has deep roots, and Greekness triumphs again as it has through the ages, expressed in the various forms of life in the offerings of distinguished artists everywhere in the world. The beauty and strength of the ancient Greek realization renews itself continually. On these truths, Vika bases her every artistic, spiritual idea, and all her works are involved with this tradition of beauty. Her admiration for the way it is visible in every form of classicism, in the works of Poussin, Corot, Cezanne, Picasso , is unrestrained, and she firmly believes it is now on the verge of stepping into the center of the world stage to once again rescue the human spirit, this time from the complete, utter degradation of technological mediocrity.
When Vika's own art clearly expresses that admiration and purpose she is most delighted by it, and she wants nothing more than to be "A part of that expression of Greek energy, Greek beauty, Greek exultation and triumph rising to our view today."
This art of hers has the worldly light and the splendor of the horizons of Attica. From everywhere within her she hears the ancient voices that command her being to see all sides of human existence. So this creative belief of hers projects a work with basic elements of Greek virtue and spirit, the Greek beauty and the grandeur of that unforgettable world that has lit the body of man for ages now.
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